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May 2011 Archives

Congress to tackle wind-versus-water insurance disputes

Now that the Florida Legislature has finished overhauling property and casualty insurance, Congress is stepping into the fray. According to the author, the proposed bill -- or the proposed proposed bill, as it has yet to be introduced -- would better define hurricane claims and the allocation of damage between wind and water.

Class action says auto insurer committed fraud

A class action lawsuit was filed recently against an auto insurer, claiming the insurance company fraudulently denied military families benefits following car accidents. The complaint alleges the company violated insurance laws and regulations and charges the insurer with breach of contract and breach of faith. The plaintiffs are asking for punitive damages from the company.

Florida OIR questions insurers about unpaid life benefits

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently asked major life insurance companies to appear at a hearing regarding unpaid benefits. According to the OIR, life insurers have failed to pay at least $1 billion owed to beneficiaries, policyholders or state governments. Florida's regulators, along with regulators from 15 other states, specifically want to know how insurers determine a policyholder has died.

Catastrophe model - credit where credit may not be due (p. 2)

This is the second and last post covering a recent interview with a catastrophe risk assessment expert. The interview was especially interesting in light of recent natural disasters and efforts by Florida lawmakers to protect insurance companies -- at the expense of policyholders -- from the risks these models have predicted.

Catastrophe model given credit where credit may not be due

As the South fights floods and tornadoes, Florida's governor is deciding if he should sign an insurance bill that is heavily weighted for the industry and, according to critics, not so much for consumers. We've talked about the bill before, especially in light of the industry's contention that reserves will be wiped out from hurricane claims after that overdue category 5 storm hits.

Insurer subrogates against policyholder, continued

This is a continuation of our last post. We were talking about a case from outside of Florida that began with a fraternity hazing incident. A boy died during the hazing, and his parents sued the fraternity and four members and pledges for wrongful death.

Insurer subrogates against policyholder in hazing incident

If you search Miami and Florida news outlets for stories about fraternity hazing in any of the state's colleges or universities, you won't find many, or any, stories. A national search, unfortunately, will reveal multiple incidents, some at institutions with worldwide reputations for academic excellence. To warrant press coverage, of course, the incidents are most often tragic -- and often tied to alcohol poisoning.

Legislators take insurance bill to the wire

The Florida Legislature adjourns this Friday, and the House and Senate continue to wrestle with the insurance bill. The Senate passed SB 408 on Tuesday only to have the House make major amendments to key provisions today. At the top of the list is, again, property insurers' coverage of sinkholes.

County wants to help. State says whoa. (concl.)

Our last two posts have talked about a situation outside of Florida involving a conflict between a county and a state insurance authority. The county tried to establish a fund to help defray the medical costs of the victims of an accident at a county park. The insurance authority put a stop to the plan. It's not the kind of insurance authority we're used to thinking about, though. This isn't the regulatory body; this is the division of the government that writes the government's policies for property insurance, auto insurance, business insurance and so forth.